Long Term Test: Yeti SB66 Is Fitted With SRAM X01 And RockShox Monarch Plus

Words by Mick Ross | Images by Mick Ross

Out with the old, and in with the new, it was time to show the Yeti SB66 long term test bike some love, and give our shiny new SRAM X01 a worthy home.

The Shimano XTR cranks and shifters have served us so well, it’s really quite impressive. And the Shimano XT derailleur and cassette also deserve a fine send off for never missing a beat during its tough life aboard the super bike.

We’ve run the Wolf Tooth Components chainring for many months now, and for only $70 it’s a really sensible and simple solution to convert your bike to using a single ring (check out our review). We feel a shorter cage derailleur with more tension is needed for maximum retention, as we dropped the chain twice with our long cage XT derailleur.

Shimano XT and XTR is so damn durable, it may look a bit beat up, but function is 100%.

Shimano XT and XTR is so damn durable, it may look a bit beat up, but function is 100%.

X01 signifies a step forward for the Yeti, with eleven speed single ring drivetrains┬ábecoming the latest and favoured trend. Shimano will have eleven speed one day too, so why not. We’ve loved SRAM XX1 since day one, and with X01 being so incredible similar in construction and features, we are curious to put it on long term test, but we can’t help but think that it’s just XX1, only a minute fraction heavier. So that means it should be just as good on the trail, right? We’ll see.

One advantage of running a brake and shifter from the same brand is combining the clamps, into one.

One advantage of running a brake and shifter from the same brand is combining the clamps, into one.

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Off comes the Shimano, cheers for the good times.

Hello SRAM, and your thick and thin chainring teeth.

Hello SRAM, and your thick and thin chainring teeth.

The shifter and brake lever, are now mated very neatly.

The shifter and brake lever, are now mated very neatly.

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Very neat indeed.

SRAM XD driver body and the outgoing standard one. A new standard is always a pain to begin with, but the new system actually makes sense, simply in the way that the bearings are positioned to support the cassette.

SRAM XD driver body and the outgoing standard one. A new standard is always a pain to begin with, but the new system actually makes sense, simply in the way that the bearings are positioned to support the cassette.

The big and bulky X01 derailleur is a target for impacts and abuse, we'll need to keep that in mind, as the Shimano Shadow it replaces tucks away out of harm very well.

The big and bulky X01 derailleur is a target for impacts and abuse. We’ll need to keep that in mind, as the Shimano Shadow it replaces tucks away out of harm very well. We’ve already dropped the bike, and the derailleur walloped the ground, whoops.

The Rockshox PIKE is so bloody good, we simply cannot get enough of its controlled, smooth and sturdy action.

The Rockshox Pike is so bloody good, we just cannot get enough of its controlled, smooth and sturdy action. (check out our review)

Is it so, are the crowns creaking? This is usually a negative trait to FOX forks from a few years ago. We greased the headset bearing, bar clamps, and fork axles, but when you stop to a halt with the front brake on, there is creaking.

Is it so, are the crowns creaking? This is usually a negative trait to FOX forks from a few years ago. We greased the headset bearing, bar clamps, and fork axles, but when you stop to a halt with the front brake on, there is creaking.

The best tyre in world? We love the Schwalbe Hans Dampf, but the rear tyre is showing serious signs of wear, after an acceptable term of shredding. The front tyre could stay on for a while longer, but we have fresh rubber to test.

The best tyre in world? We love the Schwalbe Hans Dampf, but the rear tyre is showing serious signs of wear, after an acceptable term of shredding. The front tyre could stay on for a while longer, but we have fresh rubber to test.

A Specialized Ground Control 2.3" sealed up the the ENVE wheels nicely.

A Specialized Ground Control 2.3″ sealed up on the ENVE wheels nicely.

Up front, the Specialized Purgatory in 2.4" width. We've had great experiences with these guys, and they are also lighter than the bigger Schwalbe tyres that it replaces.

Up front, the Specialized Purgatory in 2.4″ width. We’ve had great experiences with these guys, and they are also lighter than the bigger Schwalbe tyres that it replaces.

One of the Shimano XTR Trail pedals felt a bit sloppy in the axle, so we whipped the axle out, and nipped up the tiny bearing adjustment. A quick and easy job.

One of the Shimano XTR Trail pedals felt a bit sloppy in the axle, so we whipped the axle out, and nipped up the tiny bearing adjustment. A quick and easy job.

The Thompson post is a real winner, the up and down action is so slick. The collar/seal was coming loose a few times during each ride, a quick bit of Loctite on the thread fixed that and it hasn't budged since. No additional play has become obvious either, so far so good for the most expensive seatpost we've ever sat on.

The Thompson post is a real winner, the up and down action is so slick. The collar/seal was coming loose a few times during each ride, a quick bit of Loctite on the thread fixed that and it hasn’t budged since. No additional play has become obvious either, so far so good for the most expensive seatpost we’ve ever sat on.

The latest Rockshox Monarch Plus rear shock also found its way onto the Yeti. We plan to do back-to-back comparison testing with the FOX Float X. We d have to say, that it has its work cut out for it though, the FOX Float X is superb, and our past experiences with the Monarch shocks have been fairly average. Let's hope the latest revisions to the damping have helped the sensitivity.

The latest Rockshox Monarch Plus rear shock also found its way onto the Yeti. We plan to do back-to-back comparison testing with the FOX Float X. We’d have to say, that it has its work cut out for it though, the FOX Float X is superb, and our past experiences with the Monarch shocks have been fairly average. Let’s hope the latest revisions to the damping have helped the sensitivity.

PRO Tharsis controls, we love the feel, weight and look of the gear. It is well worth a look into for taking any bike the next step into all mountain terrain. We use a 60mm stem and a 640mm wide bar.

PRO Tharsis controls, we love the feel, weight and look of the gear. It is well worth a look into for taking any bike the next step into all mountain terrain. We use a 60mm stem and a 740mm wide bar.

Hey good looking! Ready for Flowtorua next week, the Yeti is born again and looking hot!

Hey good looking! Ready for Flowtorua next week, the Yeti is born again and looking hot!

If anyone has some ideas to further upgrade this juicy test bike, we are all ears. Just look at the thing!

 

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